“Run! Jump! and Throw a Softball!”

If you are old enough, your may remember this from the President’s Physical Fitness Test from the 50’s and 60’s. It was meant to measure fitness of Americans, particularly if we were going to war! The softball throw mimicked throwing a grenade, the pull-ups imitated a sailor climbing a ladder. When it came time for action, we needed to be in shape and the training was designed to make us combat ready.

The same goes for your bird dog. If he relaxes all summer, he won’t be ready for action in the fall. Here are 5 tips for keeping your bird dog in shape during the off season.

5 Tips for Off Season Bird Dog Conditioning

Off season bird hunting dog training

  1. Run – This one is simple. Throw a ball or dummy and let your retriever do what he loves best – retrieve!
  2. Swim – Swimming is great physical conditioning. Bird dogs love water and throwing a bumper into a lake for your dog to retrieve will keep him in shape without overheating during the hot summer months.
  3. Tips for off season bird dog conditioningCombine trap with a dummy launcher – At Longmeadow we have two trap towers. shoot trap keeps you in shooting shape and throwing a dummy will keep you dog on the move as well as tracking trajectory.
  4. Go for a hike – Lace on some heavy hunting boots and head for the hills letting your dog range free. Find a couple of acres that will provide interesting scents and sounds for your dog to explore.This will keep you and your dog in shape for the upcoming season.
  5. Meal Time – Make sure his diet is at least two thirds meat. Food is energy and, just like a professional bodybuilder, he needs to “protein up” to build muscle!

Hunting is hard work. The unpredictable weather in Colorado can make it harder. Keep your bird dog active and in shape during the off season and he won’t be beat on opening day!